Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Writing Exercises

By C. LaRene Hall

This year my local writing group has been encouraging all of us to do more writing exercises. One that I particularly enjoyed was picking a moment from the day before when there were people surrounding me. Once I freeze that time into my memory, I ask myself questions. Where was I? What time was it? Who was there? What were they doing?

The next step is to set the timer for fifteen minutes and to start writing exactly what happened with no emotions, no adjectives, just what happened. You write short sentences with every gesture, every reaction, and all the dialogue. The thing you want to do is cover five minutes worth of real time in fifteen minutes of writing time.

One week we completed the following sentence; I am the one who . . . forgets, or has never, experimented with, dreaded, hates, believed, must have, wished, and remembers, with a very short statement. Make your own list and see how well you do.

That same evening we finished two sentences.
1. I am going to write my story just as soon as . . .
2. I really want to write about . . .

Another time the leader divided us into teams and had each group pick one of three paragraphs. All the people on the team wrote a paragraph about the same thing, and then compared their stories with one another. It was amazing to see the different ideas that came out of the same basic idea.

These types of activities get your creative juices flowing and help you think about new ideas. The most important thing for each of you is to keep writing. Write something every day. I do.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I really like that first exercise. I'll have to try it out.